The house fire had destroyed almost everything. However, in the wreckage Stacey Fitzsimmons found an object glinting in the light. She had stumbled upon a silver badge adorned with four baby booties. And the mysterious discovery filled her mind with questions.
Evelyn Fitzsimmons comes from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and she raised her children in the area. As a result, she knew how important family memories were. That’s why she’d been clinging on to an unusual item she’d found for years.
Two decades earlier, around 1997, Fitzsimmons had a job at Hills Department Store. And it was then that she stumbled upon a lost keepsake. The memento was a silver pin with four dangling little baby booties on it.
For Fitzsimmons, the discovery was fairly inconsequential. In fact, years later she couldn’t even recall where and when she’d found the trinket. “[It was a] long time ago. I probably found it in the parking lot on the floor. I don’t exactly remember,” she told WNEP in March 2017.
However, for some reason, Fitzsimmons kept the pin. On the booties were the names Brenda, Donny, Kevin and Marcie. “I always hung onto the pin because I thought it had to be special to somebody,” Fitzsimmons told the Sun Gazette in March 2017.
Fitzsimmons always hoped to reunite the pin with its owner. However, that proved to be an impossible task. As a result, for almost 20 years the keepsake had laid forgotten in a drawer at her home.
Then, in February 2017 Fitzsimmons’ home caught fire. Unfortunately, the blaze ripped through the house, destroying most of Fitzsimmons’ possessions in the process. But, somehow, the pin survived.
Following the fire, Fitzsimmons and her daughter-in-law, Stacey, were sorting through the wreckage. They hoped to save anything they could. And that was when they came across the pin in a drawer.
Following the discovery, Fitzsimmons’ daughter-in-law decided to try to finally reunite the pin with its owner. So, she posted an image of it on social media. And it wasn’t long before the post attracted a lot of attention.
One of the people to notice the image was Marcie Edler. She associated the pin with a lady called Kathryn Burrows. “My sister and I vaguely remember the pin growing up,” Edler explained to the Sun Gazette. “She always wore it on a cardigan sweater.”
Burrows also lived in Williamsport. And she had originally purchased the pin from a jeweler in nearby Muncy. The names and birthdates inscribed on the trinket are those of Burrows’ grandchildren. However, in the 1990s, she somehow misplaced it.
When Burrows’ daughter Cindy Montgomery saw the post on social media, she couldn’t believe her eyes. “I thought, ‘Oh, my, how could it be after all of these years?’” she said in an interview with WNEP.
Furthermore, the pin had a special place in Montgomery’s family. “My dad had the same thing only his was made into a tie clasp,” Montgomery revealed. “When he passed away we buried it with him so this will go with her too.”
So, Montgomery decided to reach out to Fitzsimmons. What’s more, it turned out that Montgomery was in the middle of organizing her mother’s birthday celebrations. As a result, the women decided that the return of the pin would make for a perfect present. Amazingly, Burrows would be turning 103.
Burrows credits her longevity to the fact that she’s never drank or smoked and is careful with her diet. And she also says her close family keep her going. As a result, many of her relatives would be present at her 103rd birthday party.
Consequently, in March 2017 Fitzsimmons travelled to see Burrows at her nursing home. And that was when she surprised her with the pin. “As soon as I saw it, I knew what it was,” Burrows told WNEP.
Burrows cried with happiness as Fitzsimmons handed the pin back to her. And it wasn’t long before she was proudly wearing it for the first time in 20 years. What’s more, according to Fitzsimmons, Burrows seemed to be in great shape. “I thought she looked very young, not 103 years old,” Fitzsimmons told WNEP.
Needless to say, Burrows was delighted to have her pin back. And that wasn’t the only thing she gained. Because, following their meeting, Burrows and Fitzsimmons struck up a friendship with each other.
Moreover, the happy encounter took Fitzsimmons’ mind off the house fire. “It’s like a ray of sunshine,” she told WNEP. “Seeing the pictures and seeing her and stuff, you know, it takes you away from your own problems.”
For now, Fitzsimmons is concentrating on rebuilding her life after the fire. But she has still arranged to meet Burrows again in the future. And, after keeping her prized possession safe for two decades, she’ll no doubt have a friend for life.